131 forum posts
We are planning an East to West hike across England.
With the exception of a couple days, I will have ample sources of clean water along the trail we are walking to simply refill bottles/bladders with safe water. But a couple of the days of our upcoming hike will either require me to filter/purify water along the way, or carry a lot of water (about a gallon?) and refill at night (we will be at a clean water source each night).
There are lots of choices. Some I do not like. * Not a fan of the UV Light systems that kill the bugs/viruses but leave the dirt/off taste in the water. * Not a fan of the purification tablets that can take up to an hour to work, and leave the dirt/off taste in the water. * Pump Filters are good, when they work, some are bulky and heavy, some less so. Acceptable if under 1#. * A "Lifestraw" would work for sipping out of a stream, but won't allow me to refill a water bottle. Fine if you are camping next to a stream/pond, but we are hiking and may not need the water when we pass a stream.
I'm hearing good things about the FIRST NEED XLE filter. It is far more than I need for the couple gallons of water that I may need. I'd love something 1/2 the size and clearly don't need that much capacity. Lots of very mixed reviews about the MSR and Katadyn products.
Or should I just buck up and carry 8# (1 gallon) of water and slug through the day, with the load lightening up as the day goes on? It is certainly a possible choice to carry extra water a couple days. It's obviously cheaper than buying an expensive gadget that may or may not work. It's obviously easier to pack a collapseable water bottle than it is to pack a bulky filter system.